What We Do

As Chicago’s official host of U.S. Government-sponsored visitors, WorldChicago's mission is:

¨ To facilitate professional and personal interaction for international leaders during official visits to Chicago;

¨ To enhance respect and communication through international exchanges and alliances, and;

¨ To promote the City of Chicago, State of Illinois and the County of Cook as important business and cultural centers.

Citizen Diplomacy is the idea that individuals have the right and responsibility to help shape U.S. foreign relations through person-to-person interactions with citizens of other countries (Center for Citizen Diplomacy).

Citizen diplomats can be students, teachers, athletes, artists, business professionals, humanitarians, adventurers, or tourists. We are motivated by a desire to engage with our interconnected world in a meaningful, mutually beneficial dialogue and to help build a more peaceful and prosperous world.


Citizen Diplomacy One Handshake at a Time

WorldChicago is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting citizen diplomacy through programs that connect the Chicago community with the world. WorldChicago facilitates collaboration between people from all over the world to:


Promote American leadership through people-to-people exchanges that advance American foreign policy objectives and deepen the mutual understanding that underpins U.S. relationships with foreign countries;


Renew America’s competitive advantage for sustained economic growth by increasing the global skills of Americans and expanding the reach of U.S. businesses and institutions;


Enhance American values through professional, educational, and cultural programs that bolster democratic principles and encourage strong civil society institutions, human rights, and independent media (Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State).

Topics for Today

Recent exchanges have centered on topics such as green technology and climate change, public health, government accountability, combating domestic violence, and preservation of cultural heritage.


Founded as the Hospitality Center of Greater Chicago in 1952, then later the International Visitors Center of Chicago, we became WorldChicago in 2010. WorldChicago visitors explore their fields of interest through meetings with our extensive network of Chicago-area citizen diplomats, who are leading voices in the public, private, nonprofit, and tech sectors.

The nicest surprise that awaits you in Chicago are the people. The people are openminded, ready to share their knowledge and give you a hand to help you with your goals. WorldChicaho is a program that can give you access to top level knowledge, prisitne firendships and best fun the city of Chicago can offer.

Marko, Slovenia, ML Ventures, Founder

Volunteer Activities

Our international visitors also participate in volunteer activities that help enhance and improve the Chicago community, often working alongside American peers. Visitors have volunteered with organizations such as the Alliance for the Great Lakes, Girls in the Game, The Plant, Working Bikes, and the YMCA.

20% Visitors reside with host families

More than 20% of our visitors reside with host families during their stay in Chicago. This is often the highlight of our visitors’ time in Chicago, forging deeper connections and more meaningful cross-cultural exchange. WorldChicago also organizes dinners and social outings for our visitors to engage with Chicago’s diverse, globally-minded citizens.

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